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Kaylee Clark carefully choose flowers for an arrangement (2014 photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

Down to Earth | Celebrate the earth

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By the Yellow Springs Habitat Community Team

Celebrate the earth as the flowers and trees burst with color, abundance and the promise of fall harvest. Take a moment to admire nature’s beauty and be thankful for the gifts of nature. Then, take some time to decide the best way to give back with gifts of your own. You can do this no matter your age and circumstances.

Celebrate and give back by changing three habits that will make your footprint a little lighter on earth. Make one habit permanent, practice another habit for a month and a third one for just a week. Consider driving less and walking, biking or car-pooling more. If you have room for a compost area, use this area rather than a landfill for your vegetable scraps. Eat one more vegetarian meal a week than you do now. Take a walk in a park or natural area. Join a nature-related book club. For a greater impact, consider an electric vehicle and battery-operated or human-powered yard-care equipment.

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Celebrate and give back by caring for nature’s bounty of plants and insects. When purchasing trees, shrubs and plants, make sure they are native. If every yard had 70% native plants, including woody ones, we would reverse the die-off of beneficial insects and bird life. Instead of plowing up a garden, add compost and decayed leaves on top of your soil and plant into that. You will add nutrients to the soil and protect the nesting habitats of beneficial pollinators and soil microbes. Add habitat to your yard by letting tree snags stand for woodpeckers. Leave a pile of sticks and a pile of leaves each year as nesting habitat for native bees. Add a water source for animals, birds and insects. Mow less frequently. If you don’t have a yard, volunteer to help remove invasive plants in parks, school grounds or church lots.

Celebrate and give back by learning more about the natural web of life. A good book to get you started is “Bringing Nature Home,” by Dr. Doug Tallamy. He has two others that are equally inspiring. Go to the National Wildlife Federation website — — and click on “Get Involved” and then “Certify a Garden.” After giving your name and info, you will get a list of criteria that, when met, will certify a home, business or school as a wildlife habitat. This is a great list for being sure you are providing what our native insects and animals need to survive in our landscapes.

Celebrate the gifts of nature that surround all of us. Plants give us oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide and clean out pollutants. Plant roots hold water in the upper soil and clean the water in our streams and lakes. Plants create soil and their roots hold it in place. Plants support our food web by providing food for pollinators who in turn create new seeds and fruits. One in every three bites of food on our table is there because of native bees.

Celebrate by joining a group working to create a sustainable ecosystem.  Learning is so much more meaningful when working with a group.  Removing invasive plants, including honeysuckle; preserving habitats; providing educational signage; and serving on committees and boards are all ways to learn and serve.

How do you find a group? Come to the 2023 Community Habitat Earth Day Celebration at the Bryan Center parking lot on April 23 from 1:30–4:30 p.m. This is the third annual celebration sponsored by the Environmental Commission and the Wildlife Habitat Community Team. Many local groups will have tables with information, and they will be hosted by people who can explain the many exciting ways you can give back for all that our earth has given you.


*Down to Earth is a habitat outreach initiative of the Yellow Springs Habitat Community Team. For more resources, join our Facebook group YS Wildlife Habitat Community.

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2 Responses to “Down to Earth | Celebrate the earth”

  1. GreenJean says:

    I drive less, walk more and eat more than one vegetarian meal a week and little meat the rest of the time. That has also helped with my arthritis too, and weight loss.

    I definitely, left a pile of sticks.

    We missed the aforementioned celebration, (not our day to drive) ~ SO, please, if you would be kind and post some info on local groups to join so we know what’s where when for learning meet ups! Or a website with those listings? Thank you!

  2. Crypto Clown says:

    Completely agree

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